Charcuterie … a “stuffed” item to try

The charcuterie case at Market of Choice in Cedar Hills Oregon (photo by JMetz)

I was inspired by our latest field trip to Market of Choice to assemble my own charcuterie tray for an informal happy hour with our friends, Jen & Erik, this weekend. So, I thought I'd share some of the basics of a charcuterie platter (including the definition) and then tell you how to make your own.

First, let's start with the definition, as defined by Merriam-Webster...
charcuterie (shar-coo-ter-ee): a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes; also :  the products sold in such a shop

So, essentially, as many amazing "stuffed" cured meats as you can fit onto a board or platter to serve up to your friends. As you can see from the pictures below, our friends assembled a beautiful tray of cheeses and apples to pair with our meats and we also had a large tray of assorted crackers, mini French bread loaves and petite toasts to enjoy with our fare as well. I recommend a sweet white wine, a Riesling or a Moscato d'Asti, to pair with these salty meats to balance your palate. If you're not a wine fan, try an Amaretto sour with this and use the Amarena cherries - they're a chewy, candied-type cherry that we all loved! They're scrumptious!

charcuterie pic monkey
Photo by HHaber

Here's a list of items that we had on the board but there are so many varieties, choose items that are intriguing to you. Be adventurous, try pate'. I tried to get several pork items, which are traditional but then made sure to have a beef option as well - the Mocetta Bresaola - which I enjoyed very much. It is also traditional to add a few sweet and sour items to balance the board so we added the cherries, pickles, olives, almonds and honeycomb. I've indicated the highlights of the night by starring the ones that we just couldn't live without if we do this again.

Creminelli Sopressata - pork and spices in a beef casing - found at Fred Meyer
Mocetta Bresaola - beef eye of round - found at Whole Foods
***Duck & Morel Mousette - velvety smooth pork and duck with Madeira wine and morel mushrooms - crafted by Market of Choice
Country Pate' - seasoned ground pork and duck with port wine & pistachios - crafted by Market of Choice
***Mitica Maximum Edendi - Pure Natural Honeycomb - found at Whole Foods
Cornichons - a sour gherkin - found at Fred Meyer
Gherkins - a sweet petite pickle - found at Fred Meyer
Stone ground mustard - found at Fred Meyer
***Marcona almonds - no papery shell, nicely salted - found at Fred Meyer
Roasted Garlic - found at Fred Meyer (in the olive bar)
Feta and olives in olive oil - found at Fred Meyer (in the olive bar)
***Amarena cherries - found at Whole Foods
Gourmet Assortment Pack by Daniele Inc. found at Costco, which includes:
***-Capocollo Del Duca

The cheeses we enjoyed were:
Smoked Gouda
Pepper Jack

In this new year I'm striving to share new experiences with my friends and family and turn an ordinary night into an adventure. It's fun to try new things, especially when it involves food! Try something new this week and let us know what your new favorite is...or isn't. My new favorite is Duck & Morel Moussette - who knew??  ♥Holly

cheese pic monkey
Photo by HHaber

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